Top 10 place to visit in Carmel,Indiana


50 Can’t-Miss Activities and Sights in Carmel, Indiana”

Located just north of Indianapolis, Carmel is a charming city in Indiana that offers plenty of fun activities and attractions. From museums and performing arts to hiking trails and shopping, Carmel has something for everyone. As one of the fastest growing and most affluent cities in the Midwest, Carmel provides both big city amenities with small town charm.

If you’re planning a trip to Carmel, here are some of the top things to do during your visit:

Explore the Carmel Arts & Design District

The Carmel Arts & Design District, also known as the CAD, is home to over 200 businesses including art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and more. Stroll along Main Street and pop into the unique shops and eateries. Don’t miss the Hamilton County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau Visitor Center where you can pick up maps and information about Carmel.

Be sure to check out some of the CAD’s highlights such as Indiana Design Center, a designer furniture showroom, and Mudsocks, selling cookware and home goods. Stop for a coffee at Example: Smokey Row Coffee Co.[link], browse the records at Example: The Vinyl Revolution, or relax over a meal at one of the district’s many excellent restaurants like Example: Anthony’s Chophouse[link].

With new businesses and attractions opening all the time, you’re sure to find something exciting at the CAD. Spend an afternoon gallery hopping, shopping for locally made crafts or just soaking up the inviting atmosphere.

Go Back in Time at Conner Prairie

Immerse yourself in Indiana’s pioneer history with a visit to Conner Prairie. This interactive outdoor living history museum lets you experience 1800s Indiana first-hand through historic recreations and reenactments.

At Conner Prairie’s Prairietown, costumed interpreters portray residents of a typical 19th century settlement. You can chat with townspeople, join in activities like cooking and gardening, and watch live demonstrations. Conner Prairie also has exhibits depicting Native American and colonial life.

Some of the highlights at Conner Prairie include:

  • The 1836 Prairietown where you can visit shops, homes and community buildings from the early 19th century. See demonstrations of trades and crafts done in that era.
  • Listen to stories, music and culture in the Lenape Indian Camp recreating the lives of the Native Americans who lived in Indiana before European settlement.
  • At the 1863 Civil War Journey exhibit, you’ll experience a pivotal time in Indiana’s history. Meet soldiers, political figures, freed slaves and others.
  • The Welcome Center contains the interactive Indiana Journey where you can explore the state’s history through touch screen exhibits, artifacts and more.

With so much to see and do, you’ll want to spend a full day immersing yourself at Conner Prairie. It’s both entertaining and educational for visitors of all ages.

See Nature and Wildlife at Cool Creek Park

Spanning over 1,000 acres in west Carmel, Cool Creek Park provides a wonderful outdoor getaway. The park has several miles of trails that wind through prairie, marshland and woods. Spend a peaceful morning hiking or biking the trails and taking in the natural scenery.

You’ll likely spot wildlife such as white-tailed deer, red foxes, coyotes and over 150 species of birds. Some of the bird species to watch for include herons, hawks, owls, orioles and more. Make sure to bring a camera if you hope to photograph these wild residents.

The Nature Center at Cool Creek Park also has excellent exhibits on the local plants, animals and ecosystems. Visitor programs range from guided hikes to hands-on activities. Be sure to check their calendar for special events happening during your visit.

With so much natural beauty to take in, Cool Creek Park is one of the top spots to enjoy the outdoors in Carmel.

Browse the Farmers’ Market

For fresh local produce and artisanal goods, don’t miss the Carmel Farmers Market held every Saturday. With over 50 vendors setting up shop, it’s a great place to support Indiana growers, bakers, crafters and more.

Find seasonal fruits and vegetables from farms around central Indiana. Local honey, eggs, meat and dairy products are also available. Beyond the edible goods, you can shop the market’s selection of breads, flowers, soaps and handmade crafts.

The Carmel Farmers Market takes place every Saturday morning from May through September in Center Green in the Arts & Design District. Live music and chef demonstrations add to the fun atmosphere. Enjoy breakfast or brunch from one of the specialty food trucks on site too.

When you want a taste of local flavors and appreciate regional goods, an outing to the Carmel Farmers Market is a must.

Catch a Show at the Center for the Performing Arts

Known for its world-class performances and stunning architecture, the Center for the Performing Arts is Carmel’s premier entertainment venue. The center features three unique theaters under one roof. With over 400 performances each year ranging from concerts to theater productions, there’s always something exciting happening at the CPA.

The highlight of the CPA is The Palladium, a concert hall hosting acclaimed symphonies, orchestras, Broadway shows, ballet and more. With excellent acoustics and seating for over 1,600, The Palladium provides an unforgettable performance experience.

The Tarkington Theater and Studio Theater provide intimate settings for smaller productions and events. Comedy shows, independent films, lectures and children’s theater are some examples of what you may find.

Even if you don’t catch a show, you can take a guided tour of the CPA’s modern architecture and gorgeous design features. The Center for the Performing Arts brings world-class entertainment to Carmel.

Shop and Dine at Clay Terrace

Indulge in retail therapy and delicious dining at Clay Terrace. This upscale outdoor shopping center provides the perfect mix of national chains and local boutiques. Find everything from apparel to home décor as you browse stores like Anthropologie, Williams Sonoma, Vera Bradley and more.

Refuel with a meal at one of Clay Terrace’s restaurants running the gamut from fast casual to fine dining. Enjoy burgers at Stacked Pickle[link], sushi at Example: Ukiyo Sushi[link], or steaks at Example: Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse[link]. There are also several options for grabbing a quick coffee, ice cream or smoothie.

With a pedestrian-friendly layout filled with fountains, gardens and open-air shopping, Clay Terrace is an inviting destination to spend an afternoon. You can easily make a day of retail therapy and wining and dining in this upscale complex.

Experience the Indianapolis Museum of Art

Located just 20 minutes south in Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) is worth a trip outside Carmel. The museum houses over 54,000 works spanning 5,000 years of art. From classical to contemporary, the diverse collection has something for all interests.

Some highlights at the IMA include:

  • An extensive collection of neoimpressionist art with paintings by Georges Seurat, Paul Signac and other 19th century artists.
  • African, Native American and Mesoamerican art that showcase these cultural traditions.
  • European old master paintings dating back to the Renaissance.
  • Contemporary pieces from artists like Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns.
  • Asian art spanning Chinese paintings, Japanese woodblock prints, Himalayan bronzes and more.

Along with the galleries, you can stroll through the IMA’s gardens and grounds. Special exhibitions and events are always happening too. Don’t miss the iconic LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana, located on the museum’s front lawn.

Tour Indiana Medical History Museum

Located on the grounds of a former mental hospital, the Indiana Medical History Museum provides a fascinating and chilling look into the treatment of the mentally ill in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The museum is housed in the oldest pathology facility in the country.

Some of the museum’s exhibits explore controversial medical practices like lobotomies and electroshock therapy. You’ll also learn about diseases like tuberculosis that were widespread at the time. An exhibit on anatomy includes a collection of skulls and medical specimens.

What really brings the history to life are the untouched rooms showcasing outdated medical equipment and furnishings. The most poignant area is the room where lobotomies were performed, still equipped with the original table and tools.

The Indiana Medical History Museum proves learning about the past doesn’t have to be dry and boring. Even if the subject matter is a bit grim, this intriguing museum provides insight into psychiatry’s evolution and treatment of mental illness through the years.

Hike and Bike on the Monon Trail

The Monon Trail provides an excellent way to experience Carmel’s natural side. As one of the most popular multi-use trails in Indiana, the Monon Trail gets heavy foot and bike traffic as it passes through the heart of Carmel.

Stretching nearly 28 miles, the Monon Trail follows the former train corridor of the Monon Railroad. The paved surface is ideal for cyclists and inline skaters. Of course, hiking the trail on foot is always a great option too.

The Monon Trail takes you through parks, woodlands and wetlands. As you travel farther north, the surroundings become more rural and wooded. The trail also goes directly through the Carmel Arts & Design District, so you can easily stop and explore the shops and restaurants.

Various access points allow you to hop on the Monon Trail throughout Carmel. Pick a segment that matches your time and fitness level. Outdoor enthusiasts agree the Monon Trail is one of Carmel’s top assets.

Relax at Carmel City Center

Carmel City Center offers the perfect spot to unwind surrounded by greenery and public art. This community gathering space features paved walking paths, open lawns, gardens and tranquil water features. It’s a peaceful place to take a stroll and get away from the hustle and bustle.

Kids will enjoy the playgrounds and interactive fountains. Pack a lunch or snack and have a picnic on one of the grassy areas. You can also relax at one of the tables outside the cafes and restaurants around the perimeter.

The Central Park portion of Carmel City Center hosts free events like summer concerts and outdoor movie screenings. The outdoor venue surrounded by swaying trees makes a lovely setting for these community activities. Public art installations can be spotted throughout the grounds.

With its beautiful landscaping and amenities, Carmel City Center is where locals go to socialize or enjoy some quiet time outdoors.

Sample Local Brews on a Beer Trail

Carmel has a fast-growing craft beer scene that’s worth exploring. The Indiana Craft Beer (INCB) trail maps out ten local breweries where you can taste test some quality local brews.

Popular spots to grab an artfully crafted pint include Example: Zwanzigz Pizza & Brewing[link], known for pairing pizzas with their German-inspired beers, and Example: Brew Link Brewing[link] in a converted 1920s church.

Some standout beers to try from Carmel brewers are the Kölsch golden ale from Upland Brewing Co[link], the chocolate milk stout from Example: Deviate Brewing[link], and the Blueberry Blonde ale from Taxman Brewing Company[link].

The INCB website provides a passport you can get stamped at each location on the trail. Collect four or more stamps during your visit to receive a commemorative t-shirt. With so many great breweries and beers to sample, you’ll enjoy following the craft beer trail across Carmel.

Attend Summer Concerts and Events

Carmel offers a packed schedule of special events during the summer that shouldn’t be missed. One highlight is the CarmelFest

celebration each July. Taking place at multiple venues over 4 days, CarmelFest includes a parade, carnival rides, craft fair, fireworks and more family fun.

From May through August, you can enjoy free Live on the Lawn outdoor concerts. These performances take place in Carmel City Center on Saturday evenings and feature local and regional bands. Pack a picnic and blanket and relax to live music under the stars.

Also during summer, you can catch movie screenings outdoors at the Monon Community Center Lawn or Carmel City Center. Complementary popcorn is provided. Other events happening through summer are the Carmel International Arts Festival and the Carmel Artomobilia Collector Car Show.

To experience Carmel’s lively community spirit, check the calendar of events for these fun summer offerings.

Play a Round of Golf

With numerous top-ranked golf courses in the area, Carmel is a paradise for golf enthusiasts. Pete Dye-designed courses like Prairie View Golf Club[link] offer challenging rounds amidst scenic landscapes. Other notable courses in Carmel include Example: Sagamore Golf Club[link] and Example: Woodland Country Club[link].

The Pete Dye-designed Plum Creek Golf Course in nearby Westfield also provides an excellent golf experience. This 18-hole course sits on 140 rolling acres near the White River. Another recommended course in Westfield is the Brickyard Crossing, which weaves through the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The temperate climate means you can comfortably play golf from spring through fall in Carmel. With so many exceptional courses, you’re sure to find one matching your playing level and budget. Schedule a tee time or two to experience Carmel’s standout golf opportunities.

Cheer on the Indianapolis Colts

Carmel provides easy access to enjoying exciting professional sporting events in Indianapolis. Football fans will want to catch an Indianapolis Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium downtown. With star players and a retractable roof, it’s an awesome place to watch NFL action.

Lucas Oil Stadium is about a 25-minute drive from Carmel. Home games typically happen on Sundays during football season, which runs from September through January. Even if you can’t snag tickets, join the tailgating revelry outside the stadium before kick-off.

You can also take a stadium tour on non-game days for a behind-the-scenes glimpse of amenities like the locker room, press box, and field. Experiencing the energy of a Colts’ game is a must for sports lovers visiting Carmel and Indianapolis.

Pedal Along Indianapolis Colts

For a scenic cycling adventure in Carmel, hit the Nickel Plate Trail. Following an old railroad corridor, this paved recreational path stretches nearly 10 miles across northern Carmel and into adjoining towns. The flat, peaceful trail provides a fun way to explore the area.

As you pedal along the Nickel Plate Trail, you’ll travel through parks, neighborhoods, wetlands and woodlands. One highlight is passing beneath the iconic stone arch Nickel Plate Railroad bridge standing over 116th Street. Built in 1902, it’s a memorable sight along the route.

The trail makes a nice loop using the Monon Trail to connect back to your starting point. You can access the Nickel Plate Trail from parking lots at Central Park or 96th Street in Carmel. Bring a packed lunch to enjoy at one of the picnic areas along the way.

Take in Some Culture at The Center for the Performing Arts

When you want to experience an inspiring performance, The Center for the Performing Arts is the place to visit. This multi-venue complex in downtown Carmel hosts musicals, plays, dance shows, orchestras and more. With three uniquely designed theaters under one roof, you’ll be dazzled wherever you sit.

The Palladium concert hall hosts touring Broadway musicals like Hamilton and Wicked. You can also catch performances by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in the outstanding acoustics of The Palladium.

The more intimate Tarkington Theater and Studio Theater showcase smaller productions like plays, comedy shows and kids’ theater.

Even without seeing a performance, you can tour the Center for Performing Arts to admire the soaring architecture and stunning design features like the glass atrium lobby. This world-class facility brings exceptional arts and culture to Carmel.

Check Out the Carmel Monon Community Center

For indoor fun and recreation, the Carmel Monon Community Center can’t be beat. This expansive complex near the Monon Trail contains a state-of-the-art fitness center, gymnasium, leisure pool, ice skating rink and more. It’s especially great for families looking for kid-friendly activities.

Some of the highlights at the Monon Community Center include:

  • The large indoor water park with slides, spray features and a lazy river.
  • A climbing wall and elevated ropes course to test your skills.
  • An indoor track above the gymnasium for walking or running.
  • Group fitness classes like yoga, Zumba and boot camp.
  • An arts and crafts studio with camps and workshops.
  • Adult activities ranging from pickleball to oil painting lessons.

With an annual membership or day pass, you can access this amazing recreational facility with amenities for all ages. It’s easy to spend a full day here trying out the courts, classes, and pools.

Watch a Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Just 15 minutes away in Indianapolis lies the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the iconic Indy 500 auto race. Even if you visit outside the May racing season, you can tour the Speedway and Experience museums.

At the Museum you can view over 75 historic cars that raced at Indy like Mario Andretti’s 1948 race car. The Experience museum offers interactive exhibits that simulate racing a car at high speeds.

Race fans should definitely consider taking a track lap in a real IndyCar to feel the thrill of the oval circuit. You can also kiss the famous yard of bricks at the start-finish line on a guided bus tour. Learning about Indy’s racing history and walking the track is an only-in-Indy experience when visiting Carmel.

Browse the Farmers’ Market

For fresh produce straight from Indiana farms, don’t miss the Carmel Farmers Market. Taking place every Saturday morning from May through September, the market brings dozens of vendors to town.

Sample juicy fruits, crunchy vegetables, fragrant flowers, herbs, baked goods and more that were picked or prepared locally. You can also shop for artisanal products like honey, maple syrup, coffee, soaps and handcrafted

Admire Art at Hoosier Salon Gallery

Located in Clay Terrace, the Hoosier Salon Gallery showcases works by contemporary Indiana artists. The gallery exhibits paintings, photography, sculpture, and other media that have been judged and selected for display each year.

As you browse the current exhibit, you’ll find diverse subject matter from traditional landscapes to abstract pieces. Media ranges from bold oils to subtle pastels and charcoal drawings. Sculptures crafted from clay, metal and glass are integrated throughout as well.

In addition to the main exhibit space, a gift shop sells art and crafts created by Hoosier Salon members. The Hoosier Salon Gallery is a great place to admire and purchase original artworks while supporting local talent.

Paddle at Geist or Morse Reservoirs

Carmel provides easy access to two scenic reservoirs perfect for boating and paddling. Geist Reservoir lies northeast of the city, while Morse Reservoir is located southeast of downtown. You can rent canoes, kayaks or paddleboards and hit the water when the weather is nice.

At Geist Reservoir, explore quiet coves and inlets along the 22 miles of shoreline. Morse Reservoir covers 775 acres and also has plenty of spots for peaceful paddling. Watch for local waterfowl and birds along your route.

When you want to enjoy Carmel’s natural areas from the water, Geist and Morse Reservoirs offer excellent paddling opportunities nearby.

Catch the Latest Films at Traders Point Theater

For an upscale movie-going experience in Carmel, visit Traders Point Theater. This plush cinema offers premium amenities like fully reclining heated seats, tray tables, and in-seat service. Blankets and pillows create a cozy environment while you watch.

Traders Point screens the newest releases on 12 massive screens with laser projection and Dolby Atmos sound. You can reserve your seats in advance to get the best viewing spots.

Before the movie, you can order food like burgers, flatbreads and salads. There’s also a full bar for cocktails and local beers on tap. With luxury seating, dining service and top-notch cinema tech, Traders Point Theater is the ultimate place to catch films in Carmel.

Rent Bikes From the Arts and Design District

Cycling around Carmel’s Arts & Design District is easy with bike rentals available right in the heart of the action. Pedal across Carmel rents cruiser bikes, mountain bikes, kids’ bikes and more by the hour or day. Locking bike racks provide convenient parking spots when you want to visit shops and restaurants.

Pedal across Carmel is located right on Main Street in the district, so you can start your ride immediately after picking out a bike. Use the Monon Trail for a scenic ride through parks and woods. The city’s bike lanes and trails allow safe travels through many areas.

Don’t forget your camera to photograph public art and landmarks as you pedal around. Zipping from shop to shop by bike gives you a fun insiders’ perspective of the Arts & Design District.

Catch a Comedy Show

Carmel’s Center for the Performing Arts brings some hilarious comedy shows to its stages. Top touring stand-up comics like Sebastian Maniscalco, Lewis Black and The Second City improv group make regular appearances.

You can catch these comedy acts in The Tarkington theater, an intimate venue perfect for laughing the night away. Beyond stand-up, The Tarkington also hosts funny plays and musicals like The Play That Goes Wrong.

Tickets to big-name comedy shows often sell out fast when announced. So check the calendar regularly for newly added shows. With top comedians bringing the laughs to town, Carmel’s Center for the Performing Arts is a great destination for comedy lovers.

Walk or Jog the White River Greenway

For scenic walking and jogging along the waterfront, head to the White River Greenway Trail. This paved multi-use path currently runs nearly 5 miles from 106th Street to 116th Street in Carmel, with plans to expand it.

Most of the trail follows the west bank of the White River. As you walk or bike along the greenway, you’ll have lovely views of the tree-lined river and wetland landscapes. Keep your eyes peeled for herons, turtles and other wildlife.

Trailheads with parking can be found at 106th Street, 111th Street and 116th Street. Paths and bridges connect the greenway to Carmel neighborhoods and the Monon Trail as well. It’s the perfect spot when you want a peaceful outdoor workout with waterfront views.

Shop Your Heart Out at Clay Terrace

When you need some retail therapy, Clay Terrace is the place. This upscale outdoor shopping center is packed with big name stores like Anthropologie, Apple, lululemon, Tommy Bahama and many more. From clothing to tech gadgets to home furnishings, you’ll find top national brands.

Unique boutiques like Laurel & Basil, Vera Bradley and Bliss provide more local flavor. After all the shopping, recharge by dining at one of Clay Terrace’s excellent restaurants like Harry & Izzy’s or P.F. Chang’s.

With fountains, gardens and open-air ambience, Clay Terrace feels more like a neighborhood than a mall. It’s one of the best destinations for an indulgent day of shopping in Carmel.

See a Broadway Musical at the Center for the Performing Arts

Experience some of the hottest touring musicals and plays when you catch a show at the Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Carmel. Broadway blockbusters like Hamilton, Wicked, The Lion King and Dear Evan Hansen make stops at the Palladium concert hall and Tarkington theater.

Beyond the famous musicals, you can also see nationally touring plays like To Kill a Mockingbird or experimental works at the Center for Performing Arts theaters. The impressive 1,600 seat Palladium provides an unforgettable environment for these world-class productions.

With its mix of intimate and grand event spaces, the Center for Performing Arts is the premier performing arts venue in Indiana. Don’t miss seeing a phenomenal show during your visit.

Sample Indiana Wines on a Local Wine Trail

Indiana’s wine country provides an inviting place to taste wines made right in the Hoosier state. Just north of Carmel, the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail maps out over a dozen wineries nestled around Bloomington. Sip vintages like Traminette, Chambourcin and estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon.

Another option is exploring the Indiana Winery & Vineyard Association Trail southwest of Indianapolis. Wineries like Easley, Buck Creek and Sugar Creek offer tastings in scenic rural settings.

To complement your wine, many tasting rooms sell cheese and charcuterie boards or even offer full cafe menus. The scenic drives through Indiana countryside provide a peaceful experience between stops. Discover some fantastic hidden gem wineries near Carmel.

See Murals in the Arts & Design District

Carmel’s lively Arts & Design District has plenty of public art and murals to discover. Stroll along the streets and you’ll find eye-catching murals painted on the sides of buildings. Colorful designs depict nature, whimsical characters, abstract shapes and more.

Some notable murals to spot are “Interconnected” on the parking garage with 300 colorful discs, and “Asome of You” featuring giant fish swimming up the brick wall. The splashy wall paintings inject more creativity and energy throughout the district.

You can pick up a mural map that pinpoints all the locations at the visitor’s center. Part of the fun is accidentally stumbling upon new murals around every corner too. With so many vibrant artworks on display, you’ll enjoy hunting for these outdoor masterpieces.

Cheer on the Indianapolis Indians

For affordable family-friendly baseball, catch an Indianapolis Indians game when visiting Carmel. The Indians are the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates and play at Victory Field in downtown Indy. Home games run from April through September.

Victory Field is praised as one of the best minor league ballparks in America. Lawn seating lets you spread out a blanket on the grassy berm. Or upgrade to reserved seats for the best views of the diamond.

Kids will love chasing down fly balls during the post-game fireworks shows on weekends. An afternoon cheering for the hometown Indians captures Indy’s spirited vibe.

Practice Your Swing at Topgolf Fishers

Combining golf and entertainment, Topgolf Fishers offers a unique driving range experience perfect for all skill levels. At Topgolf, you can rent a hitting bay with lounge seating, HDTVs and food/drink ordering. Microchip golf balls show you how accurate your club swings are.

Between turns teeing off, you can enjoy drinks and appetizers with your group. Kids and newbies will love the point-scoring games that make practice fun. With music and a lively atmosphere, Topgolf takes the stuffiness out of golf.

Just a 15-minute drive from Carmel, Topgolf Fishers is ideal when you want both golf practice and nightlife. Spend the evening leveling up your golf game in a high-energy setting.

Tour the Indianapolis Museum of Art

Don’t miss the chance to admire over 54,000 artworks spanning 5,000 years at the Indianapolis Art Museum. Located just 25 minutes from Carmel, the IMA ranks as one of the best museums in the Midwest.

Beyond the galleries, you can also stroll through the IMA’s exquisite outdoor spaces like the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park. Special exhibitions change regularly so there’s always something new to discover.

Must-sees at the IMA are the stunning neo-impressionist collection, the LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana, and the orchid garden inside The Garden. For art lovers, an afternoon at the Indianapolis Museum of Art can’t be beat when visiting Carmel.

Relax at Aji Sushi Lounge

When you want high-end sushi with a trendy ambiance, make reservations at Aji Sushi Lounge in West Clay. Tucked away inside the Clay Terrace mall, Aji crafts creative sushi rolls and Japanese small plates in an intimate setting.

Beyond the excellent sushi, Aji impresses with its vibe. The hip interior has glowing lanterns, modern decor and atmospheric lighting. Sit at the bar to watch the sushi chefs preparing your order.

Along with specialty rolls, Aji serves up cocktails like the mango sake margarita and ginger martini. The dessert menu also excels with tempura cheesecake and matcha creme brûlée. For a memorable night of dining while in Carmel, Aji Sushi Lounge hits all the right notes.

Sunbathe at Rooftop Pools

When the summer heat hits, you’ll want to lounge by the gorgeous rooftop pools found at several Carmel hotels. Grab a lawn chair or day bed and soak up some rays high above the city. Most hotel pools have full bar and food service so you can stay cool and refreshed.

Some of the best rooftop pools are at:

  • Westin Indianapolishotel with panoramic views stretching to downtown Indy.
  • Le Meridien hotel featuring curvy modern architecture.
  • Hampton Inn & Suites – perfect for families with its zero-entry pool.
  • Home2 Suitesby Hilton with splash pads for kids.

Don’t forget the sunscreen and sunglasses when heading up to these scenic sky-high retreats.

Explore Delaware Park

Nestled along the White River, Delaware Park provides a scenic outdoor escape within Carmel. The park covers 180 acres filled with wooded trails, restored prairies, meadows, and ponds. Spend a peaceful morning strolling the grounds and observing wildlife.

Kids will love spotting frogs, turtles and ducks in and around the ponds. Many bird species like herons and hawks can also be seen. Looping gravel trails running over two miles let you wander through diverse ecosystems.

Interpretive signs describe the local plants and animals you might encounter. With benches and picnic tables sprinkled along the trails, Delaware Park is a serene place to reconnect with nature while in Carmel.

Hear the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

For a sublime classical music experience, attend a performance by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Ranked among the best orchestras nationally, the ISO wows crowds at concerts held in both Indy and Carmel.

At Carmel’s Center for the Performing Arts, you can hear the ISO playing masterworks, pops programs, and collaborations with ballet companies and guest artists. Hearing the soaring classics live inside the state-of-the-art Palladium concert hall is unforgettable.

The ISO also performs a summer outdoor concert series at different venues including Carmel’s West Park. Pack a picnic and enjoy beautiful melodies under the stars. The talented Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra provides a world-class musical experience right in Carmel.

Enjoy Quarter Horse Racing at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

Located just 20 minutes from Carmel, Indiana Grand Racing & Casino offers thrilling quarter horse racing from April through November. Watch top horses bred for speed compete down the straightaway track at exhilarating speeds.

Races take place during live meets in the spring, summer and fall. The casino stays open year-round if you want to try your luck at slots and table games too. Dining options run from a steakhouse to a deli to all-you-can-eat buffet.

Quarter Horse racing provides more nonstop action compared to thoroughbreds. With a lively racetrack atmosphere and fast-paced rides, Indiana Grand is great entertainment during a Carmel getaway.

See a Big-Name Comedian at the Tarkington Theater

Carmel’s intimate Tarkington Theater hosts many touring comedians that will leave your cheeks sore from laughing. Top names like Sebastian Maniscalco, Trevor Noah, Ali Wong, John Mulaney and others bring their stand-up acts to this cozy 520-seat venue.

Beyond the superstar comedians, you might also catch hilarious off-Broadway plays like The Play That Goes Wrong. The small theater environment creates a fun, engaging comedy club vibe for the shows.

When the next comedy favorite comes to The Tarkington, book your tickets fast before they sell out. Belly laughs are guaranteed when seeing comedy at this premier Carmel performing arts venue.

Browse the Indiana State Museum

Located in downtown Indianapolis, the Indiana State Museum provides an in-depth look at Hoosier history and culture. The museum contains over 400,000 artifacts showcasing Indiana’s heritage from Native American tools to motorcycles.

Must-see exhibits at the Indiana State Museum include:

  • An interactive ScienceWorks gallery where kids can try hands-on experiments.
  • The basement Fossil Lab where paleontologists clean and study fossils.
  • An 1840s Indiana home decorated in the period style.
  • Collections of vintage cars, Abraham Lincoln artifacts, and Indiana artworks.

With three floors of galleries and a giant IMAX dome theater, you can easily spend half a day exploring Indiana’s story at this top-rated museum.

Relax at Metazoa Brewing Co.

For craft beer in a setting full of adorable adoptable animals, head to Metazoa Brewing Co. This unique brewery on the north side of Indy pairs beer with dog adoption events. Sip a pint while watching pups romp in the outdoor yard.

Metazoa pours a rotating selection of flagship brews and seasonal drinks. Pair your beer with wood-fired pizzas, soft pretzels or cheese boards. Beyond the friendly pups up for adoption, you’ll also see cute resident brewery dogs hanging out.

Supporting animal welfare groups, Metazoa hosts adoption events almost daily. It’s the perfect place to connect potential pet parents with rescued dogs and cats. The chill taproom vibe makes Metazoa a great place to unwind over good beer and cute animals.

Watch a Show at the Bridge View Drive-In

For a fun retro experience, catch a movie at the Bridge View Drive-In Theater northeast of Carmel. This old-fashioned drive-in shows classic films and new releases on two giant outdoor screens.

Simply tune your car radio and sit back on the provided lawn chairs. An on-site restaurant serves up traditional movie snacks like popcorn, candy and burgers. The Bridge View Drive-In creates family fun with double features showing nightly.

With its nostalgic setting under the stars, the drive-in harkens back to vintage Americana. Don’t miss this classic icon of entertainment during your Carmel visit.

Tour the James Whitcomb Riley House

History lovers will appreciate touring James Whitcomb Riley’s 19th century home to learn about this famous Hoosier poet’s life and legacy. Located in the Lockerbie neighborhood of Indianapolis, the well-preserved house provides a glimpse into Riley’s era.

See the cozy rooms where Riley wrote his poems celebrating small town life. Artifacts on display range from his piano to personal letters. A tour brings color to Riley’s story as one of Indiana’s most celebrated residents.

The home’s gardens overflow with blooms that inspired Riley’s nature poems. Don’t miss seeing the porch swing that became an icon after mentioned in his famous work “Little Orphant Annie.”

Applaud an Event at Hilbert Circle Theatre

Downtown Indy’s splendid Hilbert Circle Theatre hosts concerts, plays, and speaker events in a lavish early 20th century setting. Ballet companies and Broadway tours like Anastasia and Les Miserables have graced the stage.

The opulent French Baroque interior transports you back to the theater’s origins in the 1920s. Marble accents, plasterwork and gilded balconies create a palatial ambience. With excellent acoustics in the intimate orchestra seating, any show feels extra special.

Make time for a behind-the-scenes tour to glimpse areas like the musicians’ lounge normally off-limits. For an elegant night of arts and culture, buy tickets to a performance at the stunning Hilbert Circle Theatre.

Ride the Carousel at City Center

When traveling with kids, make time for a ride on the classic carousel in Carmel City Center. This beautifully restored attraction lets you climb aboard a hand-carved animal or chariot as the music and lights add to the magic.

Beyond the carousel, City Center has plenty to keep families entertained like


With its vibrant arts scene, top-notch recreation, and wealth of entertainment options, Carmel truly has something for everyone. Families will love exploring the interactive history exhibits at Conner Prairie and playing at the Carmel Monon Community Center. Nature lovers will enjoy miles of scenic trails at Cool Creek Park and the Monon Trail. Shopping fanatics can browse the latest styles at Clay Terrace.

Carmel also provides a lively performing arts scene from Broadway musicals at the Palladium to indie films at Traders Point Theater. Music fans will appreciate the world-class Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra performing at the Center for the Performing Arts. Comedy shows, concerts on the lawn, and outdoor movies further add to Carmel’s fantastic entertainment line-up.

The city’s pedestrian-friendly amenities make it easy to park and explore different areas on foot. Public art installations and colorful murals inject more interest into Carmel’s streets. Visitors often remark at how pristinely maintained and welcoming Carmel feels compared to other cities.

Of course, Indianapolis with its iconic racetrack, top museums and pro sports provides even more attractions just a short drive from Carmel. But you may find days slipping by just sampling Carmel’s own wealth of activities, shopping, performing arts and dining.

With exciting annual events like CarmelFest in July and Christkindlmarkt in December, there’s always a good time to visit Carmel. The temperate weather provides comfortable conditions for enjoying Carmel’s parks, trails, pools and outdoor entertainment most of the year.

As one of the Midwest’s fastest growing and most affluent cities, Carmel continues adding new amenities. Innovative real estate developments like the Ascent create urban living spaces with walkable access to the Arts & Design District’s shops and restaurants.

Yet the small-town ambience still shines through in Carmel’s thriving farmers market, bikeable neighborhoods and community vibe. Visitors remark how even major attractions like the Center for Performing Arts retain an accessible intimacy.

Beyond the wealth of things to do and see, Carmel also provides truly excellent dining. Foodies will love exploring the city’s diverse restaurant scene from high-end experiences like Anthony’s Chophouse to Instagram-worthy cafes like Patachou. You’ll find chef-driven cuisine using seasonal Midwestern ingredients everywhere from farm-to-table bistros to hip sushi lounges.

With its perfect combination of big-city culture and amenities alongside small-town charm and hospitality, Carmel delights visitors time and time again. You’ll find welcoming parks, attractions, shops, trails, events and dining all within an easy-to-navigate city. Extend your explorations just outside Carmel to visit wineries, Indianapolis landmarks and other nearby highlights that complement the city’s own wealth of activities.

Whether you have a day or a week to spend, Carmel offers an appealing destination with a little something for all interests. Families, couples, outdoor enthusiasts and arts lovers will all find ways to craft an unforgettable itinerary in this charming Hoosier city. Its vibrant growth paired with Midwestern warmth makes Carmel a can’t-miss city to visit in Indiana.

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